I am working hard on a larger post regarding work plans (It's up! You can read it here). Here is a sneak peek at Kal-El's work plan from Monday. A few of you mentioned that it would be helpful to see how his work flows in and out of the work plan. He has an envelope of work cards to choose from and he chose four math cards and one language card. We had a three-hour work period in the school room.
Kal-El instigated a family game of "Old Maid" after breakfast. Unfortunately Kal-El was dealt the Old Maid at the beginning of the game, kicked up a huge crying fit, and Me Too and I played the game by ourselves. Because Me Too would not have been able to hold his cards if we only played a two-handed game, I also played Kal-El's hand as if he had stayed. Kal-El would have won :) Hopefully he learned something from that.
To cheer himself up, Kal-El kicked off his work period with a chemistry experiment from his Sciencewiz Chemistry Experiments Kit (thanks Grammie!) today it was using a long balloon (the type used to make balloon animals) to observe how gas has no definite shape.
Afterward he asked for a word study. He wasn't sated after just one and wound up doing three word studies from The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. All of them were regarding R-controlled vowels.
He transformed short vowel words by adding an "r."
He matched sentences (containing many "ar" words) to pictures.
There was also a little homemade reader chock full of "ar" words. I have to keep pretty far ahead of him when preparing reading work. There is just no telling how much he will do in a week. Me Too often wants to keep going until we've done about three lessons.
When he finished the word studies he took out a laminated map of his brother's room, hid a "treasure" (anything shiny or sparkly from the manipulatives drawers seem to be fair game) in it, and marked its location on the map for Me Too to find.
Next on his agenda was the dot game. He invented three equations and completed them on the dot board. Two were multiplication and one was addition.
He pulled out his Cub Scout Academic and Sports Program Guide and decided to do some work toward the Astronomy belt loop. He read the requirements page on his own and decided which steps he wanted to do today. We don't have a telescope, so he got out his binoculars and asked me to give him some binoculars challenges. I had him use the binoculars out the school room window to read some far away addresses and licence plate numbers to me from various neighbors' houses. Then, he got out some paper and drew a diagram of our solar system. On Friday we read a newspaper article about the meteorite that landed in Russia and watched a few videos of the event. He realized that this was part of one of the requirements (Find a news story about a recent happening related to space. Tell your den or family about this event.). We had talked about it as a family, but Kal-El realized that for a proper "discussion" he should know more about what a meteorite really is. He found a book that talked about it in our home research library, read about it, and then voluntarily told me all about what he learned (I now know the difference between a meteor and a meteorite). Finally, he started a research project to define the various terms that the belt loop requires. He used a book about the solar system to create definitions of "solar system," "meteor," and "star map" onto lined paper and entered them in his "Universe Binder." He has more to do, but it was a good start.
The next thing pulled off the shelf was the multiple addends work with the bead bars. This is his favorite right now. He was super proud when he pulled out 7+5+1+1 and realized just from looking at it that it reduces to 7+7 and knew that 7+7=14! He was really excited to write it all down without pulling out the bead bars at all. He did about six equations and entered them into his notebook.
Kal-El went straight to the bead frame next. He found the frame paper on the writing shelf, invented four dynamic addition equations, and recorded his work. He also invented one multiplication equation. I guess he's ready to move on :)
Finally he received his first presentation on the addition of fractions. He thought this was "silly easy" and completed the entire first drawer of prepared addition equations and recorded them in his fractions notebook. I have to show you our updated fraction cabinet later this week!
I was happy and super relieved that he intuitively reduced his fractions with no prompting from me. In fact, he gets to the reduced fraction right away and sometimes skips the original sum. For example, when he added 1/8 and 3/8 the first sum he told me was 1/2. Can someone with experience tell me whether I should be making him back up and write down 4/8 first?
After all of this he was clamoring for lunch. He ate and chatted with his brother. Then, he played outside for an hour mostly digging around in the snow. When he came in he wanted to get ready for his Cub Scouts den meeting but he needed to practice violin first. He is still in Suzuki book one and we typically play every song in the book (and any exercises his teacher has assigned in-between) up to the final song he knows each day being sure to keep all of the practice points in place. We also sing the letter names of the song or two ahead of what he is playing. I know this only means something if your kid plays Suzuki violin, but if your kid does I'm sure you are curious :) Right now he can play up through Andantino and he is learning to sing Etude.
Kal-El dressed for scouts and then approached me to ask if I would pretend to be his den leader so he could practice a few presentations he planned to give at his den meeting. A few weeks ago my husband helped him make a poster about Kal-El's mountain biking hobby so that he could talk to his den about it toward his communications pin. He also wanted to perform a magic trick for them if time allowed. He has been planning all of this on his own, but wanted to practice talking with an audience before his meeting. It was fun to hear his ideas!
Next he was off to his den meeting. He had a blast and the whole family got to hear all about it during dinner.
There was a lot of roughhousing with Dad after dinner. However, before bed he found some time to read part of a Jack Stalwart book...they are his FAVORITE. Whenever he gets his hands on a new one of these he reads it in just a few hours. I think he is on number 10 right now. I'm looking for recommendations for a new series for him at about this same level if anyone has any suggestions.